Research Paper Guide: What To Do If You're Stuck On The First Paragraph

The two most important parts of any essay are the beginning and the ending of it. In the introduction, a writer will want to include the thesis statement with the main points, lots of background material, and the hook or attention getter. If one gets stuck at any of these points, it can be difficult to move ahead with a strong paper. Use our guide for getting past these three main parts of the introduction when you struggle.

  • Trouble with the Thesis Statement-ask yourself several questions to form a strong statement: what do you want to prove, is there enough information to prove this, and does your idea make sense? If you can keep these questions in mind as you create the statement, it will be much easier for you to compose. Remember that for each main point, you will need academic and credible support.
  • Finding the Best Attention Getter-there are a few different attention getter devices that can be used. It can be a story, a quote, a strong question, or an alarming piece of data or statistic. Keep in mind that whichever one you decide to use, it must be relative to the paper’s idea. You could find a great quote, but if it has nothing to do with your topic, it will not be every effective.
  • Background Information: How much is too much? –The amount of background material you use is important. It has to be enough information to help you unveil the topic, but it can’t be so much that the first paragraph looks like a report. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that the background section of the first paragraph is never longer than any of the body paragraphs in the paper. You do not want t lose track of what your job is when you are writing. Usually 3-6 facts about the subject that you are writing about are enough for the introduction. More than that is just too much.

If you get stuck in writing as you complete the introduction, the odds are great the problem will be with the thesis statement, the attention getter or hook, or with the background information. Use our tips and guide if you find that this happens to you. You will be writing before you know it with these tips.

Tags : introduction, paragraph